JPMorgan Chase is getting rid of words that carry racial overtones. Sources tell Reuters the big U.S. bank is eliminating terms like "blacklist," "master," and "slave," apparently making it the first in the financial sector to do so. A source said those terms appear in some of the bank's programming code and technology policies, standards and control procedures. In some computer hardware and programming languages, "master" and "slave" describe one part of a device or process that controls another. "Blacklist" refers to items that are automatically denied while "Whitelist" means just the opposite. Sparking this re-examination of sensitive words was the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody. Some realtors, for example, no longer use the term, "master bedroom." Eliminating the terms won't be simple for JP Morgan. One programming expert says changing them within the bank's code could take months of work and cost millions of dollars.
As authorities in Botswana continue to investigate the mysterious deaths of hundreds of elephants in the Okavango Delta, one NGO said on Friday (July 3), the event could have a "devastating" impact on the species. The dead elephants were first spotted months ago, with poaching ruled out as the cause of death, as the carcasses were found still intact. Founder and director of Elephants for Africa Dr Kate Evans. "The word mysterious has been used, and I guess because it's unknown. It's not unheard of to have die-off of elephants and, of course, other species. And one of the likely candidates at first was anthrax, which is common in Botswana. But it's the wrong time of year for that, so that has been ruled out. But we did have an outbreak in November of last year. So that was ruled out because we've since had good rains, and I'm sure the avenues being investigated are likely to be a bacterial infection or indeed a virus." Since the late 1990s Botswana has seen its elephant numbers steadily increase. But a report prepared for the government by a separate conservation organisation said aerial surveys showed that elephants of all ages appeared to be dying. Evans says the deaths are particularly concerning for other areas with smaller elephant numbers. ''I mean we only have less than 400,000 elephants throughout the African continent, which is vast. And so if this was a disease, or virus, or a bacterial outbreak, that was to spread, as I mentioned earlier, if a smaller, less genetically diverse population were affected, then it could have devastating consequences for the elephant population, and therefore the economy and the environment of the host countries as well." Dr Evans says the deaths have come at a difficult time, with charities and conservation efforts hit hard by limited resources and funding cuts.
President Emmanuel Macron has named Jean Castex as his new prime minister -- in an attempt to reinvent his administration and win back voters. 55-year-old Castex is a top civil servant and a local mayor who orchestrated France's lockdown exit strategy. He hails from the center-right of French politics and served for two years as the second-highest-ranking official in the Elysee Palace during Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency. An Elysee official described Castex as a senior civil servant whose experience in local politics would help Macron connect with provincial France. The announcement followed the resignation of Edouard Philippe, a figure some political analysts say was more popular than the president himself. But after his party’s dire showing in nationwide municipal elections on June 28, Macron wanted an overhaul. He’s reshaping his government as France grapples with its deepest economic depression since World War Two, a sharp downturn that will shrink the economy by about 11% in 2020 and reverse hard-fought gains on unemployment. Investors will be watching to see if Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire keeps his job -- as he’s overseen reforms to liberalize the economy and spent big to keep companies like Air France and Renault afloat during the crisis. As for Macron and Philippe, the pair dined together on Wednesday and met on Thursday. An Elysee source described the discussions as warm and friendly. Saying both men agreed on "the need for a new government to embody the next phase and a new path."
Britain will end quarantines for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries, authorities announced on Friday (July 3). Travellers from Germany, France, Spain and Italy are all welcome, but not from the U.S.. The move due to come in from July 10 clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without having to be quarantined when they come home. But those heading back from higher-risk countries will still have to self-isolate for 14 days. The rules only apply in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not announced plans to lift quarantine rules. The full list of countries has not been published yet, but the U.S. will stay on a so-called 'red list'. British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there is no reciprocal arrangement in place with the U.S. as of yet. The government said it expected countries on the quarantine-free list to relax their own restrictions for British travellers. Three of Europe’s biggest airlines have now ended a legal challenge against the British government, due to the new rules scrapping quarantine for some travellers. British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet, had criticized the quarantine policy, saying it dealt a catastrophic blow to the industry this summer. Britain is slowly reopening its economy. England and Northern Ireland will reopen pubs this weekend, and Scotland and Wales are expected to follow later in July.
Want to know what shade of lipstick or brand of mascara will suit your face without having to touch it? A new augmented reality mirror can help. In use at the Seoul flagship boutique of cosmetics powerhouse Amorepacific, the mirror takes a photograph of the customer's face and analyses it. It then recommends products based on skin texture, while addressing blemishes, wrinkles or dark circles. Customers can then see a computer-generated image of what they would look like using certain cosmetics. And in times of social distancing, the technology is a hit with shoppers. "Due to coronavirus, it was uncomfortable to test cosmetics after someone had used them. However, this is very convenient as I can see the actual colour on my face in a form of AR image without even touching my face," In addition to social distancing, South Korean government guidelines recommend shoppers try cosmetics on the backs of their hands, not on their faces. To minimise human contact and limit the risk of virus spread, the shop has also put QR codes next to all products on display. Customers can check details with their mobile phones instead of talking to staff. South Korea has been praised for how it has handled COVID-19. But Asia's fourth-largest economy has also experienced persistent outbreaks in recent weeks, mostly in the capital.
VIDEO SHOWS: PRESENTATION OF LEROY SANE WITH BAYERN JERSEY , MEDICAL CHECK-UP, SOUNDBITE FROM SANE ABOUT HIS MOVE TO BAYERN, ABOUT HIS GOALS, SOUNDBITE FROM BAYERN CEO RUMMENIGGE ABOUT SANE FITTING IN PERFECTLY RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT SHOWS: MUNICH, GERMANY (JULY 3, 2020) (FC BAYERN MUNICH - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS OF LEROY SANE AND BAYERN SPORTING DIRECTOR, HASAN SALIHAMIDZIC, PRESENTING BAYERN JERSEY, WITH BAYERN CEO, KARL-HEINZ RUMMENIGGE, AND PRESIDENT-ELECT, OLIVER KAHN, STANDING BY 2. VARIOUS OF SANE SIGNING 3. SANE GIVING THUMBS-UP AFTER MEDICAL CHECK 4. VARIOUS OF SANE AT MEDICAL CHECK 5. (SOUNDBITE) (German) MIDFIELDER, LEROY SANE, SAYING: "At the very beginning, when we had our first talks which were very good, the entire plan they proposed to me totally convinced me. And well, Bayern is a huge club. They have very big goals. And those goals go with mine. So, it was really the only choice for me." 6. (SOUNDBITE) (German) MIDFIELDER, LEROY SANE, SAYING: "The goals are fairly obvious to me: to win as many title as possible. Of course, the Champions League is very high up there. I never won that, and I think that everybody dreams of winning that. So, it's a big goal of mine." 7. (SOUNDBITE) (German) MIDFIELDER, LEROY SANE, SAYING: "I know Hansi (Flick - Bayern coach) from U21 national team. And we had a very good relationship then. So, I knew what was expected of me. Hence, I think it will be a very good cooperation between us." 8. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BAYERN MUNICH CEO, KARL-HEINZ RUMMENIGGE, SAYING: "It is our aim to gather the best players at FC Bayern Munich. And now we have another jewel at the club. I really want to say a big thanks to Hasan (Salihamidzic - Bayern Sporting Director). He really fought hard and was thankfully successful. He did very well and earned huge merits. And we are happy. I think Sane comes across as very likeable and friendly. We know the player from the pitch. But I think it is very important for a team for a player to fit in. And Sane appears to be doing that." 9. VARIOUS OF SANE GOING TO CAR STORY: Leroy Sane has completed his move to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich from Manchester City, the German club announced on Friday (July 3). Sane, 24, had signed a five-year deal with Bayern that would keep him at the club until 2025, the club said on their website. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but British and German media reported last week that Bayern would pay 45 million euros ($50.52 million dollars) plus add-ons for the winger. Sane joined City from Schalke 04 in 2016 and had 39 goals and 45 assists in 135 appearances in all competitions. He was an integral part of their league title winning squads in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He has also made 21 appearances for the German national team, scoring five goals. "FC Bayern is a great club with big goals - and these goals suit me as well. I'm looking forward to the new challenge and can't wait to train with the team," Sane said. "I want to win as many trophies as possible with FC Bayern, and the Champions League is the top priority." ($1 = 0.8907 euros) (Production: FC Bayern Munich, Ute Swart)
Takeaway food looks like a big lockdown winner. Delivery Hero said Friday (July 3) that its orders had surged worldwide. The Berlin-based firm runs order platforms in 44 countries. In the second quarter, orders almost quadrupled in Asia - its largest market. Sales were up over 100% in the Americas, and by almost a half in Europe. Only the Middle East and North Africa saw a slight decline, hit by curfews in Kuwait and Jordan. Overall that drove a 94% gain in orders to 280 million euros - about 314 million dollars. The rises continued in June, even after lockdowns started to ease in many countries. Some analysts predict a strong third quarter too as a result. The news saw Delivery Hero shares jump over 6 percent on Friday morning, hitting a record high. That despite a down day for broader markets.
"My message is, let's not blow it now folks, we've done a fantastic job so far in bearing down on this disease, collectively, let's not blow it now," he told LBC radio, speaking a day before pubs and other hospitality businesses in England are allowed to reopen. Johnson said questions about his father travelling to Greece despite current advice for British nationals to avoid all but essential international travel, should be directed to his dad. He refused to provide any comment on Stanley Johnson's decision to travel to Greece via Bulgaria.
TikTok was a viral sensation in India. But it’s now banned and branded a security threat following India’s deadly military skirmish with China. This is how an app known for goofy dance videos has become embroiled in a political spat between two nuclear-armed neighbors. In mid-June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed after hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops. Details of Chinese casualties are unclear. It happened in the Galwan region of Ladakh, in the western Himalayas, one point on a 2,500-mile long contested border. India and China are the world’s most populous countries and both claim vast swathes of each other’s territory. Some disagreements stem from colonial demarcations, made when India was under British rule. India and China fought a brief war in 1962, a ceasefire line was drawn up, and there have been flare-ups ever since - notably a major border clash in 1967 resulting in hundreds of deaths. The last major dispute was in 2017. So why the flare up now? Well, one reason cited is that India has been building roads and airfields nearby. The Chinese side boasts superior infrastructure - and India wants to catch up. The June incident caused protests across India and increased scrutiny of Chinese imports. But the government’s strongest move yet has been to ban nearly five dozen apps, including TikTok. The app is owned by Chinese parent ByteDance, which had a $1 billion Indian expansion in the pipeline. India was TikTok’s top growth market, accounting for 30% of its global downloads. It provided a window into fame and fortune for many. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, TikTok resonated not only in cities, but in India's hinterland as well. Users ranged from remote villagers to top Bollywood stars. But growth ambitions have been derailed after it was branded a threat to security. It’s not the first time. TikTok was banned briefly last year after a state court said it encouraged pornography. Every month the app was dark on phones cost the company around $15 million. Experts say an overturning of the current ban is slim, however, given it is on national security grounds.
How do you turn fishing nets into face shields? A new community-based project in Thailand is paying local fishermen to collect discarded nylon nets. These are then recycled and made into brand new medical gear. It’s a solution that is both lucrative and environmentally friendly. [Thai fisherman Anan Jaitang says:] "I've seen the products, and I'm proud of my materials (being part of them). At least it helps society and saves the environment." Anan Jaitang, along with other Thai fishermen, used to pile tattered nylon fishing nets on the beach after they became torn by hauls of wiggling crabs. The nets would then be carried by waves out to the sea. [Environmental Justice Foundation campaigner, Ingpat Pakchairatchakul, says:] "This is, like, a very dangerous action because these nets, if they are left on beaches, they could fall into the ocean and they could just drift for decades, entangling animals like dolphins, sea turtles, dugongs or even coral reefs." Globally, over 640,000 tons of fishing nets end up in oceans every year. Thailand, with 50,000 small fishing vessels and 10,000 commercial vessels, is one of the world's largest fishing industries. It’s also one of the world's top plastic polluters. Year after year, hundreds of endangered sea animals wash up on Thai beaches after being trapped in nets or ingesting marine plastics. The new project, by the Environmental Justice Foundation, provides an economic incentive for local fishermen to help stem the flow of fishing nets into the oceans. It has collected more than 1.3 tons of used nets since it piloted two months ago. The project is also partnering with Thai design company Qualy, which makes lifestyle products from recycled materials. [Qualy marketing director, Thosaphol Suppametheekulwat, says:] "This is our latest product. It's a push and spray (device), freshly minted from the factory. One side is a touch screen pointer that you can use to push things and on the other side, it's a spray." Over the past months, Qualy has shredded 1,500 pounds of nets to make face shields alcohol spray bottles and push sticks for elevator buttons and ATM machines to avoid contact. "During the first week of sales, we've sold over 100,000 of them (push sticks) while the face shield came out later on. They've both become 'new normal' products that people will use in their daily lives."
Consumer demand is back in China. Data out on Friday (July 3) showed the services sector expanded at its fastest pace in over a decade in June. The Caixin/Markit services PMI rose to 58.4 well above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. China continues to pull further away from the trough hit in February. And its overall recovery is becoming more balanced as life slowly returns to normal. The services sector accounts for about 60% of the Chinese economy and half of urban jobs. The record numbers gave stocks an end-of-week boost too. Asian shares rallied to a four-month high. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1%, reaching the highest level since late February. And Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7%. Mainland Chinese shares, among the best performers over the past month, extended gains. Following Asia, European PMI numbers went down well too. The plunge in euro zone business activity eased sharply last month as more businesses reopened and people ventured out. IHS Markit's final Composite PMI, seen as a good gauge of economic health, bounced to 48.5 in June from May's 31.9. One analyst told Reuters that the upturn signals a remarkably swift turnaround in the euro zone economy's plight. Activity in the bloc's dominant service industry almost returned to growth last month. Its PMI soared to 48.3 from 30.5, comfortably ahead of predictions. But demand still fell despite vendors cutting prices, and firms reduced headcount for a fourth straight month. And caution dominated markets in Europe. Stocks paused after gains through the week as another record surge in U.S. virus cases dulled optimism And some analysts say that despite the encouraging data, it will take months for activity to return to pre-crisis levels.
Small business Cherry Blossom Intimates is on a mission to help breast cancer survivors feel good about themselves and their bodies.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a sanctions bill to punish China over Hong Kong on Thursday (July 2) It would penalise banks that do business with officials who implement Beijing's harsh new national security law for Hong Kong. That law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. The U.S. bill has been sent to the White House for President Donald Trump's approval. The House also passed the bill without oppositin the day before -- a rare example of bipartisan support reflecting concern over erosion of Hong Kong's freedoms. Lawmakers said it raced through Congress this week to because of China's recent actions and to show support for Hong Kong protesters. On Twitter, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, lead sponsor of the U.S.bill called on Trump to quote: "Stand up to China for their assault on #HongKong's democratic rights." The Hong Kong government has repeatedly said the security law won't affect freedom of speech and other rights in the city. On Wednesday, thousands gathered in the city on Wednesday protesting the new law. Around 370 people were arrested - 10 of them involving violations of the new national security law. Meanwhile, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman warned the United States against signing or implementing the bill, stating quote: "otherwise China will resolutely and forcefully resist." The White House did not respond to a request for comment on whether Trump would sign the bill.
China unveiled a national security law this week which Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters and the West says breaches the "one country, two systems" principle enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British treaty that guaranteed autonomy of Hong Kong. "This is basically the end of one country two systems because there is no more two systems, no more firewall between the system in Hong Kong and China, it's basically merged with the implementation of the national security law, so I think the international community should recognise that and adopt relevant mechanisms to hold China accountable," Law told Reuters via internet video. Law, 26, left Hong Kong this week. He declined to disclose his location. The British flag was lowered over Hong Kong when the colony was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule - imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. Britain says the national security law breaches the agreements made at the time of the handover and that China is crushing the freedoms that have helped make Hong Kong one of the world's most glittering financial hubs. Hong Kong and Beijing officials have said the law is vital to plug holes in national security defenses exposed by the protests. China has repeatedly told Western powers to stop meddling in Hong Kong's affairs.
VIDEO SHOWS: FILE FOOTAGE OF LIONEL MESSI TRAINING WITH BARCELONA AND POSING FOR PHOTOS. FILE FOOTAGE OF CAMP NOU STADIUM EXTERIOR AND FC BARCELONA SIGNAGE SHOWS: NAPLES, ITALY (FILE - FEBRUARY 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. BARCELONA CAPTAIN, LIONEL MESSI, WALKING ON TO PITCH AT STADIO SAN PAOLO 2. MESSI TRAINING TURIN, ITALY (FILE - NOVEMBER 21, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 3. MESSI AT TRAINING SESSION HOSPITALET DE LLOBREGAT NEAR BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - DECEMBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4. MESSI POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH TWO CHILDREN AND BALLON D'OR TROPHY AT THE LAUNCH OF HIS NEW BOOTS 5. CLOSEUP OF MESSI POSING FOR PHOTOS BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - FEBRUARY 29, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 6. BARCELONA PLAYERS LIONEL MESSI AND ARTURO VIDAL WALKING ONTO TRAINING PITCH BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - JUNE 18, 2020) (BARCA TV - ACCESS ALL) 7. MESSI AND GERARD PIQUE CHATTING ON TRAINING PITCH BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 8. SIGN ON EXTERIOR OF BARCELONA'S CAMP NOU STADIUM BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - APRIL 22, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 9. FC BARCELONA AND CATALONIA FLAGS WAVING BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 10. FC BARCELONA BADGE AND NAME BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 11. FC BARCELONA BADGE ON WALL STORY: Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has called off negotiations over renewing his contract with the club and is ready to leave the Catalans when his current deal expires in 2021, according to a report by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Thursday (July 2). The report said Messi and his father Jorge had begun discussing renewing his last deal with the club, which was signed in 2017, but that he no longer wishes to stay at the Camp Nou. The report added that Messi is angry about leaked media reports that appeared to make him seem responsible for events at the club, such as the January sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde, and that he is frustrated about the squad's lack of quality. The Argentine's representatives and Barcelona did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Messi, who turned 33 last month, scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday (June 30) against Atletico Madrid, but the milestone strike ended in disappointment as Barca drew the game 2-2 in the latest blow to their bid to retain the Spanish title. Barca trail Real Madrid by four points in the title race with five games remaining after Real beat Getafe 1-0 on Thursday. Previously known for his shy personality off the pitch, Messi has become more vocal in his criticism of the club in the last year. In January he hit out at sporting director Eric Abidal, who he said had implied players had led to Valverde being sacked. In a February interview with newspaper Mundo Deportivo, he declared the team were not good enough to win this season's Champions League. Then in April he criticised the board for implying players were not willing to accept a pay-cut to help the team's financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. (Production: David Grip)
City leaders voted Wednesday to slash the Los Angeles Police Department budget by $150 million, reducing the number of officers to a level not seen for more than a decade amid nationwide demands to shift money away from law enforcement agencies. (July 2)
California took a step back in reopening its economy as Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down inside restaurant dining across most of the state for three weeks amid troubling increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. (July 2)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that because of an increase in the rate of COVID-19 infection, starting next week, businesses statewide will not be able to serve customers who don't wear facial coverings. (July 2)
Here are the top stories for Thursday, July 2: Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell arrested; President Trump honors American businesses; Vice President Mike Pence tells 'family story' to naturalized citizens; NJ casinos reopen amid pandemic. (July 2)
A broad rally swept Wall Street Thursday, and the Nasdaq hit an all-time high. A record increase in monthly jobs stoked the buying of badly beaten cyclical shares. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 added about a half percent. The Dow rose a third of a percent. In a holiday shortened trading week, the three indexes posted solid gains. As for the economy, the United States added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell. But the survey was taken before many states paused or rolled back plans to reopen businesses. Winthrop Capital Management chief investment officer, Greg Hahn, liked the jobs report but fears another wave of layoffs in the fall. “We love the number. We think this is positive. But we got trouble coming in the third quarter, and that’s what I’m worried about.” Tesla shares continued on a tear. The electric vehicle maker crushed Wall Street’s estimates with its quarterly deliveries at a time when rivals are reporting sales declines. Investors went shopping for shares of Coty after the cosmetics maker named former L’Oreal executive Sue Nabi as its CEO.
A business owner and a labor economist are hesitant to praise the large jobs recovery in June and are pinpointing weaknesses in the US economy as it continues the uphill battle against the coronavirus pandemic. (July 2)
Employees at Farley’s East café in Oakland, California are glad to be back at work but instead of churning out loads of $4.50 lattes and $13 whole health protein bowls, they're using assembly-line-like precision to put together about 200 sandwich lunch plates a day to give out free of charge. Thanks to funding from Washington, D.C. based nonprofit World Central Kitchen, Farley East is prepping these turkey, ham and egg salad sandwiches to hand out to health care workers, school-age kids, the homeless and others down on their luck. The charity work has actually provided a financial rescue for Farley’s East since it reopened in April, says eatery co-owner Chris Hillyard. "Yeah the meals from World Central Kitchen are equal to what we actually do in the cafe sales all day so it's really a lifeline for our business. We would be going into debt daily without the World Central Kitchen program to help support our business." The situation at Farley’s East highlights a growing dilemma facing small businesses across the country. It received a $221,000 loan, as part of the Payroll Protection Program created by Congress in response to the crisis. That money helped pay for the 16 employees Hillyard has rehired. But without the full return of his customers, the future remains sketchy. “So we've been open for a few months now and the cafe is about 30 percent of what we used to do. We're in a downtown area with a lot of office workers and there's just no office workers. Even when companies say they can come back, we don't know when or if they ever will, quite honestly." And with states like California curtailing re-openings, small businesses like this one could face another downturn, leading to a fresh wave of layoffs. But for now, Farley’s East will keep on making charity sandwiches -hoping that doing good will provide the bridge it needs to stay alive until diners return.
"...the bottom line is that we need to continue to ask the question, 'When we look around, are there different kinds of people that reflect the real world in the rooms and sets that we're on?' If the answer is no, then you're failing, you're failing," Duvernay said. Hollywood came under intense scrutiny for a lack of diversity in 2015 when the #OscarsSoWhite movement spotlighted the dearth of Black nominees for the film industry's highest honors. Following the mass protests after the death of George Floyd in police custody, the entertainment business faces new criticism for failing to do enough to include Black people in front of and behind the camera.
Who knows when any of us will be back in an arena to experience a concert like this? The Rolling Stones are among some 1,500 musicians who called on Thursday (July 2) for the British government to help the live music business survive the novel coronavirus outbreak. Writing in an open letter to British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the musicians, among them Paul McCartney and Ed Sheeran, said the future for concerts and festivals looked bleak. Adding that until they can start up again, likely to be next year at the earliest, "government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry." The letter called for a clear timeline on when music venues could reopen, as well as support for businesses and jobs. Dowden responded in a tweet on Thursday, saying he was pushing hard for the ability to give a clear roadmap. But he said decisions on reopening live music venues would be difficult as it relates to the future of social distancing. Music venues, concerts and festivals - including the annual summer Glastonbury festival - were shuttered or cancelled in March when the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the country. The musicians said live music added 4.5 billion pounds - around five point six billion US dollars - to the British economy and supported 210,000 jobs in 2019.